Author Archives: ben

Beef Cake to Beef Jerky

Date:4-16-093-29-10Difference
-Measurements-
Bicep:13.75in12in(-1.75in)
Chest:38.25in35in(-3.25in)
Waist:31in30.5in(-0.5in)
Oblique(Hips):33in33in(-)
Gluteal(Butt):38in37.5in(-0.5in)
Thigh:19.75in17.75in(-2in)
Calf:14.75in14.25in(-0.5in)
-Pinch Tests-
Tricep:55(-)
Abdomen:1211(-1)
Suprailiac(“Love Handle”):55(-)
Thigh:97(-2)
-Totals-
Body Fat%:7.3%7.3%(-)
Body Weight:183lbs163lbs(-20lbs)
Body Fat:12.6lbs12.2lbs(-0.4lbs)
Lean Body Mass (pure muscle weight):163.4lbs154.8lbs(-8.6in)
BMI:2321(-2)
-General Fitness-
Push-ups(to exhaustion)4015(-25)
Resting Heart Rate60bpm85-90bpm(-30bpm)
Heart Rate(1min after 3min Step Test 96bpm cadence)65bpm115bpm(-50bpm)

Above are the results from my fitness evaluation today at the gym. It compares results from last year. My previous high weight was 185lbs with 7% body fat. My low during chemo was 155lbs, that’s a drastic 30lb swing. Now most people would love to lose 30lbs. However I was at an almost ideal body fat percent of 7%. If you noticed, I’ve stayed there. I’ve gained back almost 9lbs from my last treatment due to getting my appetite back and drinking more fluids throughout the day. I don’t feel so dehydrated and I’m not getting muscle cramps anymore. The reason I mention my body fat % and show how it hasn’t changed is because that 30lb loss is pure muscle. I lost 30lbs in 6 months of treatment which originally took me two years to put on!

It’s frustrating and a bit depressing, but I know I can put it back on, and much faster than I did the first time around. For all those doctors, insurance companies, and people that can’t seem to keep their weight where they want to; STOP LOOKING AT IT! I put up my BMI as a joke. The BMI is the most useless piece of information you can give to someone, doctors and insurance companies really need to stop using this, but I digress. For those that want to “lose weight” you really need to be figuring out your body fat percentage, get off of the treadmill, and start lift weights. Yes you too ladies. Body fat % is easily found by doing simple pinch tests with a pair of calipers, such as these inexpensive ones.

If you are wondering why I say you need to stop looking at your weight, it is because your weight doesn’t give you a good idea of what your body is made of. If you look at my chart above you can see that my 7% body fat tells me that I am made up of 154lbs of pure muscle(and a little bit of water, bone, and organ weight). The other 12lbs is made up of fat. This comparison is waaay more important than a silly weight number. If you want to look good you need to pay attention to the relationship of muscle vs. fat or your body fat %. If, and when, you start lifting instead of plodding along on a treadmill all the time to “lose weight” you may actually gain weight! Oh no, you didn’t want that did you!?! Well muscle weights more than fat, and if you gain muscle which doesn’t burn fat per se, but it helps “light your engine” to burn fat, then yes you may end up weighting more. But you’ll drop pant size, you’ll look better, you won’t have flabby chicken under-arms, and no you won’t look gross and bulky. Don’t believe me? Either read this book or check out these chicks who figured out that lifting is the trick, matter of fact do both! I’m not apologizing for this rant, our society has royally screwed the way women think about their bodies and how to actually take care of them. That goes for you too guys: Read and read.

I knew this was going to happen, that’s why I posted this article before I started my chemo treatment. But I’ve started back up at the gym. I can’t lift as much, but it feels good to get back into it. The hardest thing so far has been cardio as you can see by the big change in my resting heart rate. I try to warm up by doing a few laps (1/4mi) around the track before lifting. This short distance is quite a feat! My goal is to try and run the 5k at Race for the Cure on Mother’s Day. I may have a month and a half to prepare, but it seems like a big hurdle for me right now.

The only reason that I pay attention to my weight is because I want to gain it. My body fat % is right where I want it and right where it should be. I’m trying to gain back the 20-25lbs of muscle loss in six months. I’ll check back in and let you know it I hit my goal in October.

And for any of you nay-sayers that think it’s easy being my size, trust me it’s not. I’m a lanky skinny dude that had to work his ass off for two years to gain 25lbs. Don’t tell me it’s easy for me to gain weight and hard for you to lose it. It’s the same work just different goals.

Ready or not, here I come!

Well today was the last business day off so to speak. I enjoyed this last day of winter and last official day off freedom by burning my big bald head out in the sun!

I return to the real world on Monday by returning to work. I’m looking forward to it though, I think the steady schedule will help me feel like a human to tell you the truth. The last three months were brutal and it’d be good to dive into something to kinda forget about all of that.

I have one more major test coming up next month which will help alleviate that last bit of unknown stress. However for now I can focus on living again. Don’t get me wrong I will never forget what has happened to me. Not many people get the chance to face their mortality in such a long drawn out process. It actually should somehow make you feel better about those that go quickly….er, this is turning morbid.

I just wanted to say that you may see me more, and I’m taking that as a good thing. Watch out Beaver county I’m out and about again so deal with it!

T-Minus One

Tomorrow is my last treatment. Honestly, I don’t want to go. It seems weird that you would think I would want to get it over with, but it just sucks to badly. I want to not go about 12times as bad as I did the last time and about 144x as bad I as I did for the first one. I just don’t want to go. But I know it’ll be quick, just not painless. Oh well I’ll survive.

In a few weeks I will hopefully be feeling pretty decent and maybe I’ll be able to get out and about to say hello to a few of you. Thank you everyone for believing in me and praying for me throughout. Let’s hope my last CAT/PET scan is perfect and we never have to worry or think about this every again.

Hardly rockin' in the New Year

I know…it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. I’ve given plently of excuses to multiple people. But it really comes down to this, I can’t think about what I’m being put through. Any little hint of it will make me sick. Even writing this is upsetting. Yes I’m over the hump and I only have four more treatments. But the knowledge of that doesn’t make it any easier. I’d rather think or talk about something else, Christmas and New Years happening have been a great distraction from it all. I’m a bit nervous as I go on a bit of a leave and everyone returns to their normal lives and the world outside becomes more gray that it may become harder to start super positive.

I had a wonderful Christmas hanging out with friends and family. The food was great and hopefully helped me from losing any more weight. Sara gave me lots of fun presents. I built two puzzles and will be framing them to hang up in the basement. Mark, Glenn, and Uncle John came by for a few hours on Monday to work in the basement. And to round it all off I bought a new laptop because our old one died in my hands.

Needless to say it was fun chaos, but I’m pretty beat today. I think the whole ordeal has worn me out. I think that Sara and I will be rockin’ 2009 out with a whimper tonight. I need to recoup.

I can’t say that’ll I will post more often, but Sara has been good about keeping everyone up to date on Facebook. Thank you for all of your prayers and support, we’ll be needing them in the new year!